I was sorting through my photos and found a bunch of old photos.
They reminded me so much of everything I have gone through in the last few years. I just thought that I would share them with you!
Oh wow, this brings back so many memories. The truth is, this was the first time I brought work while traveling. I was still a freelance project manager and this was when I realized how much I loved to have my own flexible time. If my memory serves me right, I had a client meeting at that time before I indulged in my sumptuous breakfast.
Ah, another one. This was my first laptop, it was a 10” notepad …. soooo small. I think this is the culprit why I am now wearing eyeglasses.
I remembered this day because I was sick and still working (from home). I treated every client’s business as if it was my own. This was the reason why even though I was feeling terrible that day, I needed to show up. I gave my client my word that I will deliver.
Looking back, my experiences as a freelance project manager made me realize how much I love helping people. That, if I put all the time, effort, dedication, passion, and the skills I acquired over the years into my own business, I will be able to help more people – my clients and my fellow freelancers to have steady jobs.
When freelance gigs dried up in 2014 to 2015, I had no choice but to accept a job offer as the Head of Project Management for a startup digital marketing agency in the Philippines with US American clients from California. While the Filipino-American owner was having the transition of moving his family from California to the Philippines I assumed the role of Operations Manager / Head of Project Management and sometimes in-charge of the hiring process as well.
This experience honed my skills more. I learned how to run an agency, establish a company culture and handle tremendous work pressure. As a single mom at that time, this job didn’t work well for me and my kids.
I remember rushing back home at 8 PM to my 9 and 10-year-old kids with no power at home because I missed paying our electric bill. I needed to call my mom to pick up my kids at our apartment. This was very stressful. This was just one incident I remembered so vividly. I was juggling between home and work…. Being a single mom and the head of project management of a fast-growing digital marketing agency. It was tough!
Until one day I had enough. David (my fiance’ and now my CFO for Great Work Online) encouraged me to start my (our) own agency. I’ve been doing project management even before online business and outsourcing became a big thing. He said with all the years of experience and skills I have, I should be able to get it all started.
Coming from a family of businessmen (from my mother’s side of the family), I know I can pull it off. I’ve been doing business since I was a kid. I remember when I was in elementary I would save my school allowance so I can ask my mom to buy me perfumed stationeries so I can sell them to my classmates.
During university, I would sell cupcakes and branded perfumes to my classmates with 2 installment payment terms just so I can have extra cash and be able to pay for my Beeper. (very 90’s huh?! LOL)
Long story short, David and I started Great Work Online. A project management team to coaches and consultants. Project management – something I know like the back of my hand. Like any other entrepreneur, we started doing everything on our own. When you are on a tight, shoestring budget you’ll restrict yourself from delegating tasks even if it means doing a website that you have no idea how to. Tinker on tasks for hours because you’re trying to figure things out.
Believe me, we experienced that. You can only do so much within your business, and instead of growing, it will only hurt your business. Worse …. You’ll experience burnout! This is when we decided to hire our very first Project Manager.
This was when I had him sign the contract and gave him his new laptop. You have to invest if you want to grow.
It all started there. One decision.
I recognized the need, I needed help, I wanted us to grow …. so I trusted and invested. Now everything is history.
(At Working Remote Summit 2019 with some of our team members)
5 years in the business. From 0 to 6 figures. From 0 team members to 15. From 0 clients to several retainer clients. From zoom meetings to being on the stage as speakers. More time with my family (especially being awake during our Friday movie nights and not falling asleep LOL!)
(David and I on stage during our talk (before COVID))
(Out of town late afternoon lunch with mom)
(Road trip with the kids)
Wow, it’s amazing how things have changed for me… for us. If someone had told me in the past that I would be where I am today, I would have just smiled politely in disbelief.
I am so grateful for everything that I have gone through… even the failures! It was horrible back then and I wouldn’t wish for anyone to experience what I have been through, but my mistakes have made me so much stronger as well.
These photos may seem like random photos to you, but they hold so much significance for us. It showed my struggles and challenges, the transition from a freelance project manager to having a 9 to 5 job to having success and growth as a business owner. All it took was making that jump – acknowledging I need help and making that decision to invest.
Get into the habit of asking yourself, “Does this support the life I am trying to create?”
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I believe in you. You can do this too. Book a call today!